Today, I had ClearVoice installed on my CIs. ClearVoice is designed to automatically analyze and adapt to each listening situation, separating the distracting noises from what I want to hear most—speech. It eliminates background noises such as road noise, noisy restaurants and bars, air conditioner fans overhead, basically any form of noise that has a consistent sound pattern.
It is an enhancement to the Advanced Bionic’s HiRes Fidelity 120 sound processing strategy. It comes with 3 settings – low, medium, high. Since my Harmony has 3 program slots available, it was determined that we would use slot 1 and 2 by adding CV-High and CV-medium to my current program. Slot 3 is occupied by my current program which is before ClearVoice. We discussed the various strategies that I have noticed from others who were activated before me. In the end, we decided to leave my existing programs as is and to give me a chance to get used to CV before making adjustments. All it took was a 30 second activation on each slot.
My first reaction was to listen for the fan overhead, a sound that has made a notorious presence every time I visit Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center. Two seconds after the headpiece made connection with the processor on CV-High, that $@##@$#@#@ loud overhead fan gradually faded into oblivion. I was like a little kid who had to be constantly stimulated by what this amazing piece of technology could do. I just kept flipping the magnet on and off and in the process, drive Michelle, the audiologist and the Soundvoice computer program crazy. Then I switched to CV-medium. Same story only that instead of fading out completely, the fan faded to a soft hum barely noticeable.
Anxious to get outside since it was very windy, I could tell that CV was constantly going through its analyze and adjust paces. First it was on the wind then passing cars then my truck engine then the wind again with the window down then the radio (which it left alone) and so on. All of this was while on CV-High. One thing I did notice were sounds I wanted to hear were somewhat muffled. Then I remember a piece of advice that CV works best if the processor is operating louder than pre-CV. And sure enough, this amazing piece of logic was magically and clearly able to discern what I want to hear while blocking out what I didn’t. My reaction was to let everyone know that I was live and listening in true CV by posting “Where is da freakin’ noise????????? — at Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center” on Facebook.
And so the test continues with the drive home on the expressway. Since it was such a warm beautiful day, all the windows are down. And the radio is blaring classic rock. Road noise….WHAT rode noise? Passing motorcycle….BBBRRRRWWWWWWwwwwwwwwww…ssssssssssssssssss. But here is the kicker….flippin’ teenagers in their low riding sub-compact cars with boombox stereos blasting…and I MEAN BLASTING! It’s not like all of a sudden earth became infested with boomboxed zombies but they were one of those patterns that were not consistent enough to be considered noise. So as the rest of the world’s background noise is filtered out, I am left with a cacophony of trashcan music in addition to my own radio.
Finally, I arrived home and I just had to see if it was something totally true to believe. I pulled into the garage where the obvious engine noise bounced off the walls. And every time I moved the headpiece off the magnet and back, there was this 2 second typical truck engine sound before it gradually faded into oblivion. I was like….SSWWWEEEEEEEEEEETTTTTTTTTTTTTTT! I could do this all night.
Lemme tell ya…CLEARVOICE TRULY ROCKS! Insomuch as I thank AB for its truly lifesaving technology, I am constantly tickled thrill they never cease to amaze me with technology that only Gene Roddenberry could have dreamed up with Star Trek. I am looking forward to my adventures with CV and for all of those new WOW moments, I am sure I’ll have a post.